The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has refused the rumors surrounding its involvement in the creation of a internal unit to research in the field of blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).
Last August, Economic Time (ET), reported that RBI has been researching blockchain technology by forming a new internal unit. At the time of the publication of the report, the unit was already a month old and ET took two anonymous sources who have the knowledge of internal developments in the RBI as its source.
Meanwhile, denying all the reports of such developments, the central bank has revealed there is no such crypto-focused formal unit within. The RBI said this while responding to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by Naimish Sanghvi.
It’s a new turn in the story, as RBI revealed in its Annual Report 2017-18 even before the publication of the ET report that it had formed an “inter-departmental group” to “study and provide guidance on the feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC).”
Earlier last year, RBI’s own research team published a white paper detailing the benefits of blockchain technology for the banking and financial sector domestically. In the paper, India’s leading banking research institute, RBI’s Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), noted that blockchain had “matured enough” to fuel the digitization of India’s rupee.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also in a speech mentioned the “rapid adaptation” of the decentralized technology.
Currently, RBI through a notice issued in April this year has banned all the financial institution including banks from providing any kind of assistance to cryptocurrency related business. And recently as a impact of this ban, Zebpay one of India’s biggest crypto exchange has decided to shut down.